Windows XP SP2 intentionally broken

This morning I’m working on getting a VoIP phone gateway set up at work. This box was used prior to being plugged in here, and there’s some confusion as to what its current IP address is. The default address doesn’t work, nor does the address we were told it was changed to. There also does not appear to be a reset button on the box and the documentation available isn’t very helpful in this regard. So we’re stuck trying to figure out the address of the thing before we can even think about using it. We can’t get in touch with our SA in France, who originally provided the phone, so our next best solution is to ping sweep the two network ranges and look for anything that answers. This won’t necessarily do me any good because I simply don’t have time to scan every possible range (16,000,000+ addresses), but scanning the two most likely /24s (254 addresses each) will be nice and quick.

Because I haven’t yet installed Linux on my workstation, we currently have only Windows machines here to do this with, but I remember reading that nmap is also available for Windows, so I went to investigate. As I’m reading about the Windows version, I learn that with Windows XP SP 2, Microsoft intentionally broke nmap, as well as any other network tool that relies on raw IP sockets. Thanks in part to self-proclaimed security expert and self-important blowhard Steve Gibson‘s raw sockets fear-mongering, no doubt. Luckily, the nmap developers have been able to work around this restriction.

So it’s working now, but extremely slowly due to another SP2 “feature”: throttled TCP connections. From that last link above:

This quote from that MS page sums up their attitude about breaking Nmap and many P2P apps:
Q: What works differently?
A: This change may cause certain security tools, such as port scanners, to run more slowly. Q: How do I resolve these issues?
A: Stop the application that is responsible for the failing connection attempts.
If applications are broken by SP2, stop using them. Great solution, Microsoft!

I sure am glad they’ve fixed all the real problems in Windows and now have time to do useless stuff like this.